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Taboo III and HD-800 Combo (Read 392 times)
Robertiii
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Taboo III and HD-800 Combo
03/24/14 at 10:26:55
 
Hello all - have been a new owner for about a week now and have been fooling about with listening to various recordings, both low and high quality, and have discovered a few interesting things along the way...

1.) It makes for easier listening overall and I have put more hours on the TIII / HD-800 combo than I ever did on the cans alone. So I have to say I like the overall quality of it.
2.) I am still using the 1/4 headphone jack and that may be p/o the issue with not getting full power from amp  - comments?
3.) I also listen at low-moderate volume in order to save ears - definitely don't need hearing loss.

However, with the HD-800's I have noted that even at low-moderate levels, it is quite easy to clip the output and this is noticeable, especially when a crescendo comes up on some of my classical recordings with a ton of dynamic range, I can hear the soft clip a bit.  I am using the low gain side, as the high gain side didn't sound quite right with the HD-800's - assume it does with LCD's.

The other thing I have noted in comparison, is bass is quite a bit leaner than with solid state - I do not mind this but I do like the Senn's ability to produce a rather impressive bottom end.  So the questions are:

1.) Any adjustments that can be made to the amp to better match to the 300 Ohm input Z of the amp and/or any adjustments / a change to 4-pin XLR that will increase my headroom - since the HD-800 is 110dB sensitive, there's gotta be some headroom in there  ;D

3.) Bass extension - this one is low priority as I'll trade the mids and highs for less bass (like I said, I like the amp's character) but if it is possible, would like to have a touch more LF sauce without losing the realism - don't want sound effects.

3.) I have thought about running the high gain side with the input attenuators dialed way down - may try that this AM but last time I did, didn't particularly care for the match...

Cheers / Robert
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Cheers / Robert
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Robertiii
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Re: Taboo III and HD-800 Combo
Reply #1 - 03/24/14 at 10:29:13
 
Addendum: I ordered the amp with low and high gain XLR's and 1/4" headphone jacks so tweaking one side to match the Senns/high Z headphones won't remove capabilities.
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Cheers / Robert
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Robertiii
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Re: Taboo III and HD-800 Combo
Reply #2 - 03/24/14 at 14:51:27
 
Clipping Fixed: Operator Error

So, the problem was that I had near maxed out the 20 step volume control and had the input attenuators dialed back. When I conducted my morning experiment, I discovered this - color me oops.
Utilizing the high gain side of the amp, and with input attenuators 4-6 clicks clockwise, and the main volume attenuator at mid - mid + I am not seeing any bias variations or hearing any artifacts unless I go stupid loud, so things are looking up. With more gain, bass is a little thicker and less lean also.  Still would like to know if anyone has done a perfect Z match for the HD-800, and if I can expect any improvements with 4-pin XLR.
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Cheers / Robert
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deucekazoo
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Re: Taboo III and HD-800 Combo
Reply #3 - 03/24/14 at 15:33:39
 
I was just looking into the 4 pin XLR connection and what it does. You need to check out http://www.head-fi.org/f/ for any headphone questions. To me it seems the 4 pin XLR is the way to go. Most of the guys over there seem to switch to the 4 pin. Will you hear any improvements, not sure but it can't hurt. Just make sure you have 4 wires going to your plug right now on your headphones for it to work.
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Robertiii
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Re: Taboo III and HD-800 Combo
Reply #4 - 03/24/14 at 15:54:24
 
Taking something expensive apart...FUN  8-)  Will let you know shortly...
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Cheers / Robert
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Robertiii
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Re: Taboo III and HD-800 Combo
Reply #5 - 03/24/14 at 15:59:27
 
Yup - two connections per side and removable plugs on cans - very nice but I should have labeled L + R first ha-ha. Easy enough to fix with some Pink Floyd and mains/can comparo.
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Cheers / Robert
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Robertiii
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Re: Taboo III and HD-800 Combo Update 4 Pin XLR hookup
Reply #6 - 03/29/14 at 16:11:58
 
So I finally got to listen to the amp with fully separated grounds. I noted increased output capability, especially on low gain side, improved stereo (not a surprise, since channels are fully isolated), and an interesting thing. I prefer Lucid 1 on the standard headphone jack on almost every recording, but not on the XLR.

On lucid modes in general, I agree with the instruction manual - there are quite a few pieces of music that benefit from Lucid 1, and less that improve from Lucid 2. Lucid 2 seems to require a live and well recorded track that is a bit sparse. Thick, mixed rock and roll never seems to benefit from it. Yes, I am continuing to enjoy the amp, and spent an hour last night listening to the 2011 remaster of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here and got a near perfect listen. It would have been perfect if I could get the HD-800's to stay in place while laying on the floor!  ;D
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Cheers / Robert
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